Are we aiming too low?

I spent a couple of days with the web crowd last week at Web Directions in Atlanta.  Design matters on a website, where attention to user engagement can mean the difference between a flop and a million dollars.

I live in the software world, mostly around agile software development.  When I talk about agile (and I think this is generally the case), I talk about benefits to the business and benefits to the team  (though creating great teams has a business payoff as well).

heart reasons and head reasons

Why Agile? Heart Reasons and Head Reasons

We talk about a close relationship with the customer or product owner.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve met lots of customers who know what they want, but not what they need. And I’ve met product owners who don’t know much about interface and interaction design.  I don’t say that to blame them.

Hierarchy of User Interaction

Hierarchy of User Interaction (Aarron Walter)

Aarron Walter (@aarron) had a little graphic that crystalized what I’d been thinking.

Agile methods manage business risk. They can bring back enjoyment and pride in work for development teams. For the people who use our software, they make work life maybe less frustrating, because the software isn’t buggy, and maybe a little easier because the software does what it’s supposed to do. But I think we are aiming too low. Can we also make software a pleasure to use?

I’d like to collect some more information. How has your team incorporated UX/ID into short iterations?